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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  March 14, 2010 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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trouble someone you rely on things like that because you can't rely on an education in history or something in the more serious nature. you're liable to repeat the psychodrama where you try and outdo your father in history. >> host: let's get a response from karl rove. >> guest: first of all, before 9/11, we were as safe as we were after 9/11. he put his finger on one which was where the divide between the fbi and the cia not been able to share information. so we weren't able to act upon information that the cia might have the fbi might have that the other one might appeal to shed a light on how dangerous that information was. and after 9/11 we checked on the so-called wall that had been a wreck did by assistant attorney general jamie choleric that said you cannot share cia and fbi
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can't share information. we had to do one thing after 9/11 that would make us safer and could only do one thing. that would be it. ..
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father and the son, but it is typical of people on the left who make this thing -- let's go back to the only specific thing he said. i'm just gonna ignore this psycho drama. let's go to one specific thing he said, which was a comment by president bush when he's asked at a press conference, i believe in slovenia, where he's meeting with putin for the first time. an associated reporter said to president bush, do you trust him? you're standing there with the leader of russia. you're trying to establish a good working relationship with this major power. you got choices. you can say yes or no. bush chose yes. imagine what would have happened if he had said, well, i don't know if i can trust him? what if he said, no, i can't trust this guy? what kind of personal relationship and what kind of diplomatic relationship would the united states have with this major power? i think the president took the
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right tone, which was to say, i think we can have a good relationship with him. i looked in his eyes and i believe we can trust him. that's how you establish a personal relationship, which will help further the diplomatic relationship of the major power. did we think he was our friend and ally on each and every moment in no. were we weary of his intentions? you bet we were. but in diplomacy it's important to establish that on a strong a footing as possible. that was the right thing to do. >> host: you write about president bush's management style. it left the impression he was board when the truth was that the meeting needed to end. it >>'s interesting. al mentioned history. bush was a history major at yale. he was a harvard mba. couple years ago john lewis ganist, the famous cold war historian, was speaking at a yale alumni meeting. having been bush's teacher at
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yale, he was impressed with the cast of his mind, his ability, his recall, his thought process, how smart and abled he was. he shared these reflections with the yale alumni group, which sounded a lot like al, dismissive of it. it is -- in part a failing that bush brings on himself by playing the good old boy from midland, but he is a well-read, thoughtful history major from yale who then went on and got his mba from harvard. >> host: did you plead david plus audacity to win? >> i have got it on my stack to read, but no. >> host: who is bill chrisoff? >> bill chrisoff and chris chrisoff appear in the book. they are a remarkable couple with two extraordinary sons nathan and austin chrisoff. nathan chrisoff was a marine first lieutenant who was killed in an b.a. r in 2006. i met his parents and his broeshg literally the fine week that i was at the white house pip went with president bush to
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the american legion convention on tuesday, the last week of august, 2007. and it was sort of an emotional thing for me because it would be the last time i was on air force one. it would be the last time i would be the senior aide to the president on a trip, certain responsibilities you have and that kind of deal. and i was going home. i spent part of my childhood in nevada. and i knew that the president would give a speech to the american legion. i knew afterwards we would have to go meet with over a dozen families who had lost someone in iraq or afghanistan. the president did this almost every week from november of 2001 on. and this particular instance it was the first time he had been to northern nevada with time to spare since he had become president, since the balloon went up in afghanistan. and so after the speech, he went back behind the curtain and met with each family individually. and when we walked into the room and met the chrisoffs, i stood
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over in the corner to take notes. christine chrisoff began to speak. she is one of the more remarkable people i have ever met. she was calm and cool and focused, and very, very fluent. really remarkable person. she talked about the love that she had for her two sons. she talked about the kind of relationship she would have with her son when he would come off combat patrols. they would e-mail or talk to each other over the lap top. she talked about the global war on terror and the kind of world she hoped to see if she were allowed to have grandchildren. talked ab her pride in her younger son who was going go into combat in march of 2008. when we finished, about 20 minutes or, so the president said, is there anything i can do for you? bill chrisoff, who had not said a single word, spoke up and said, yes, mr. president. there's something you can do for me. i'm an orthopedic surgeon. when my son goes into combat in march, i would like to be in the united states navy medical reserve, providing health care
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to the marines but they won't let me baz eem 61. will you give me an age waiver. and part of my last week at the white house was spent getting his paperwork, checking him out and getting him in the hands of pete pace. when thursday came to see the president and the president handed him the paperwork i saw pace outside the office, outside the oval office after he finished the meeting on other subjects. checked with him to see that he had gotten the paperwork. he said i'll give you a quick answer. i'm leaving tomorrow at 3:00. and get it to joe hagan, my colleague. and sure enough, they gave him an age waiver. he passed basic training at the age of 61, was commissioned in november, december of 2007 as a lieutenant commander in the navy. he sent me last april photographs from his surgery room and surgery suite in baghdad with a little bit of
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complaint that he was doing too many sports injuries and he felt he would be better used in afghanistan. pictures of him in front of an osprey. his commanding officer let him fly over on the milk run, the supply run to anbar so he could have lunch with his son who was serving. and couple weeks ago he deployed to afghanistan. >> host: karl rove, thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> host: this program will repair tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern time on book tv. if you didn't catch it all and you want to watch it, you can see it then. reminder that we will be live all afternoon at the tu san festival of books out in tuscan. finally, we want to take you now to juan james and his new book, charles hamilton hues storng thurgood marshall and the strug toll end segregation. the title of the book is root and branch.
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>> the book "root and branch" profiles charles hamilton houston, the first african-american on the harvard law review and dean of harvard law school and his student thurgood marshall, valedictorian of his class in 1933 and future supreme court justice. the two lawyers led the naacp's legal office in challenging jim crow laws. >> thank the bookstore for having them. what i'd like to do is briefly discuss the legal strategy that helped bring about the end to segregation, strategy put in place designed by charles hamilton houston and put in place by charles hamilton houston and his protege and later his co-worker thurgood
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marshall. late televised theologian and cosmetics zealot tammy fay baker remarked after her husband's fall from grace, she said, we are who we are because of who we were. and her words betray not only a mature compassion, but also speak to a recognition that the past is always with us. and indeed as william faulkner tells us in his 1950 nobel address, the past is not even past. in this way we, as a nation, are who we are because of who we were. ours is not a nation that hides from its history or hides its history from its history books. and indeed one reason why we can be so proud of who we are is in part because of who we once
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were. a nation that divided its own citizens by race. "root and branch" charles hamilton, thurgood marshall and the strug toll end segregation tells the story of how two men, two lawyers, helped take this country from where we were to where they knew we one day could be. rt it explores how the brown versus education moment came around. brown is not a judicial miracle. it's not the miracle that it is off purported to be. the fact that it was a unanimous decision still stands as something of a judicial miracle. but the supreme court's decision in brown versus board of education was the result of careful planning in a care fall strategy set forth by charles hamilton houston and enacted by houston and thurgood marshall. in 1935, walter white, who was
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the executive secretary of the naacp and truly an extraordinary character in his own right, an extraordinary american in his own right, he asked charl hamilton houston, please devise a strategy by which the naacp could deg se gre gait education and transportation in america. houston, who was at the time the most famous african-american lawyer in american history and certainly the most educated lawyer in african-american lawyer in american history, looked at the budget of $10,000 and said, mr. white, you need to pick one or the other. so, mr. houston -- so houston and white picked education. charles hamilton houston graduate of amhearst college, graduated at the age of 19, served in the army and went on
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to harvard law school. he was the first african-american to serve on the harvard law review. he earned a doctorate of judicial science from harvard studied in spain while he was at harvard law school and was very famous at this time because he had recently defended a very high profile sensational murder defendant in rural virginia who is widely known by americans across all races and classes at the time. the law was plessy verse ferguson. established the doctrine. the decision to be sure, the law
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was that, so long as the government provides separate and equal facilities for african-americans and for white americans, the constitution is satisfied. houston cannot walk into court and ask a district court judge to overturn separate but equal. it would not work. a district court judge first of all does not have the authority to do so. secondly, it was the way the individuals lived their lives. so the question became, how was he going to attack this? i'd like to just briefly read two paragraphs here. i can say two paragraphs because the legal strategy was so brilliant in its simplicity that it can be summarized in a very short number of words. a lawyer's case is his ship. his wind is the law that he must put to his command. gifted attorneys sometimes persuade courts to extend
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existing law, but rarely to reverse it. while often harolded as a reversal of longstanding jurisprudence, the supreme court's decision in the cases gathered as brown versus board of education, was in fact an extension of the court's earlier decisions. brown expanded existing law and the ship launched by charles houston 20 years earlier had last reached unchartered shores. in 1935, however, the wind blew steadily in the opposite direction. separate but equal schools and buildings were permissible under the supreme court's plessy versus ferguson decision. to challenge plessy to set sail into the wind would be the mission of a doomed fool. so walter roy asked houston to present a plan under which the naacp could launch a sustained -- houston chartered a novel course to defeat the law of separate but equal, he would
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argue for the enforcement of separate but equal. in southern states he would argue that segregations mandates needed to be met. he would seek to end segregation skourj by arguing for its promise. so he was the strategist. if you were a state, say they were segregating black and white citizens. houston said, that's fine, we're not going to challenge that right now, but we will say that you need to have these facilities need to be separate and they need to be equal. they started in the law schools. first houston hires thurgood marshall, who was his favorite student at howard law school. marshall graduated valedictorian of his class at howard law school. an came to work for the naacp. and they went to work on this mission of deg desegregating
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the schools. why? but a every judge has gone to law school. the judges do not need to rely so much on an expert witness to tell them what separates one law school from another. what makes this law school better than that law school. and they started in maryland. where thurgood marshall was born and where he wanted to attend law school but could not. in fact, he did not apply to the university of maryland law school because the university of maryland law school did not accept black students. now that he was an attorney with the naacp and working with charlie houston. on behalf of donald murray, a young student an amhearst grad, the sign of a prominent mror family. they filed suit against the university of maryland. and their case being so hopeless by black marylanders and white folks paid it no mind in
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maryland. that no one showed up to watch the case. no one exempt thurgood marshall's father willie, who would have been there fit had been a hit and run trial. their argument was simple. the university of maryland is obligated under mresy versus ferguson to provide separate but equal law schools. the university of maryland provides the university of maryland for its white students. maryland provides no law school for its black students. they don't have one. so until maryland builds a law school for its plaque students and builds an equal law school for its black students, maryland must allow its black applicants who are qualified to attend the university of maryland. houston marshall asked the trial judge, we're not asking you to overturn plessy, we're asking you to enforce it. you have to make this separate but equal but there is no
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separate school, your honor. they put on the witnesses who agreed with the simple fact that there s there a law school for negro students in maryland? no, there is not. thank you very much. is there a law school for white students? thank you. the on way to equalize them was to allow the black student into the university of maryland. until and unless and until maryland is able to build this law school for its black students. to the shock of everyone, including houston and marshall, the trial judge issued his ruling from the bench and said, you're right, there is no law school for black students. the law is very clear on this point. and therefore, mr. murray, you are admitted to the university of maryland law school. the appeals went on and went through and houston and marshall prevailed. and donald murray graduated from the university of maryland law school in three years and had a very long and successful career in baltimore. and other african-americans ç
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metriculated into the university of maryland law school after that. keep in mine we're talking about 1936. 1936 this is happening. truly an amazing accomplishment, an amazing development. african-americans were so excited by it. they thought segregation was going to end in short order. that charlie houston had to write an editorial in the widely read naacp newspaper the crisis. he wrote an editorial called don't shout too soon because there was so much euphoria in the black community. charlie houston knew there was a long road away. knew it would be some time before african-americans would be able to apply to law schools, colleges. indeed one day even go to elementary schools.
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founded in missouri a few years later. lloyd gaines, another promising young man, applied to the university of missouri law school. again, you see they're still in law school. the university of missouri denied it on account of his race. missouri has a policy where we will contribute to the tuition at a law school. charles houston and thurgood marshall took on lloyd gaines case. and this case made its way to the supreme court of the united states. they could finally put the strategy to the test, saying to the justices, there is no law school for black students, so there is no separate but equal. we don't even reach the question of equality because there's no
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separate. there's nothing there. there's nowhere for them to go. because this is a personal right, the 14th amendment is a personal right that each individual, each american citizen enjoys, you have to remedy it immediately. the only way to remedy that is to allow our client, mr. gaines, to attend the university of missouri law school. the justices agreed. they said, it is a personal right, the 14th amendment and he should be allowed to attend the university of missouri law school. a mysterious development, mr. gaines, the plaintiff, disappeared and to this day no one, there is no record, no one, not even his own family knows what happened to him. there are numerous theory. some say he was of course murdered and buried. others say he went to teach english in mexico. there are just a number of rumors about it. but no one knows to this day. finally the naacp, houston, marshall, had some federal precedent that said if there is
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no other school for them to go to, you have to let them go here. oklahoma wasn't having that. oklahoma said we don't care what the supreme court of the united states says. we do not allow negros to attend the university of oklahoma law school, and that's that. houston took up the case of ada lewis,çó a young very talented young woman, very brieg and gifted young woman. back to the supreme court. by now we're up to 1948 and the supreme court is getting irritated. the washington post described it as a hazing. they said the justices inflicted a hazing for the university of oklahoma asking why does this woman have to come all the way here to go to this law school when we issued this opinion ten years ago. we told you you have to let her go. you're back here saying no? they decided, the justices of course decided, you need to
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allow her into the university of oklahoma. here's what oklahoma did. they allowed her into the classroom. she had to sit in the back of the class beneath a huge banner that said colored students section. she had to eat at the table that was only for her that said colored dining section. in the library there was only one table she could sit at. there was the colored student section in the library. this was noxious. but it was stepping exactly into -- i don't want to say trap, but it was a trap laid by houston marshall. because now they could move into the intangibles. say, okay, we have an individual in the classroom, she can hear every word said by the professor. she can take all the notes she wants to take. but she's under this banner, this literally this banner, a badge, saying that she is different than the other students. they decide now it's time to
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turn to the wind and attack plessy versus ferguson and say the separate cannot be equal. they get their case with an excellent plaintiff, already had a masters degree, wanted a ph.d.. mr. mcclure was at the university of oklahoma. now we have a 68-year-old man in a classroom with 20, 21-year-old students. and he has to sit there. he went to school every day in a suit, by the way. and he has to sit there. he called it humiliating to sit beneath this banner. to have to eat at this one specified time. he said it's humiliating and hard for me to do my work. that case, along with another case out of texas, those cases trundled forth to the supreme court. and on april 4th, 1950, the anniversary is coming up. april 4th, 1950, the justices
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heard oral arguments. this time, thurgood marshall asked the justices to overturn plessy. he said separate cannot be equal. the justices unanimously said you're right, sweat -- mr. sweat should be allowed to attend the university of texas. mr. mcclure, university of oklahoma, take down that banner that you have sitting above this man, colored student section. take that banner down. that offends the constitution. but mr. marshall declined to reach the question of overturning plessy versus ferguson. we are not going to overturn it. they don't say just yet, but marshall noted after the decisions came down. he said this is a decision replete with road marks. this is 1950. the path had been set. the foundation had been set. and everybody knew it. in texas, in 1950, texas
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legislature appropriated $3 million to build a law school for black students because the attorney general of texas said once they defeat segregation in these graduate schools, they're coming for elementary schools. thurgood marshall went to the university of texas and said,  no secret.f texas and said, this is what i have been trying to do this whole time. there was a huge rally. when marshall finished speaking, everyone clapped. the white student -- there was a student leader. got up, took the microphone, thanked mr. marshall for coming. said i have a big announcement to make. today we've signed the papers and it's official. we now have an naacp chapter at the all white university of texas. the whole place went crazy. it was no secret that they were going to attack segregation. they just did it slowly and took some time. by the time they got to 1950,
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they had the precedent. because what we have now, we have an adult. how can an adult sitting in the classroom, how can a state, a state is not allowed to sit an adult in a classroom beneath a banner that says colored students section, but a state is allowed to sit thousands of children in a building across the street for colored children. you can't have both. the constitution cannot allow both. no logical document can allow both. so the court had been painted into a corner at this point. it took time. it took years. it took plaintiffs putting their lives and livelihood on the line to get there. finally after 1950, going into brown, they had the issue square before them. if you're not allowed to have the 68-year-old man in the same
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classroom, but he can't be off because of his race, how can you allow thousands of children to be set off in different buildings because of their race? the court was in a corner. to close, i'd like to leave you with the thought that i was left with after spending four years researching and writing "root and branch." and that is that over the past decade or so, we've heard a great deal about activists judges. the phrase has been used so often by the right and the left that at this point it's almost bereft of meeting. an activist judge is a judge whose opinions you happen not to like. and i will admit on some occasions, the course of our nation's history has been changed by activist judges. on every occasion, however, every single time the course of our history has been changed by
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activist citizens. and often these citizens are working with activist lawyers. 35 of the 55 founding fathers were activist lawyers who gathered with their fellow citizens and were so enraged at the treatment they received that they formed a new nation. the activist citizens like lloyd gaines, like ada lewis, like george mccloren. activist citizens are the men and women who helped make this country great. they believed in their country more than their country believed in them. and they joined with charles hamilton houston and thurgood marshall. together they defeated staggering odds. so sometimes when i hear this talk about activist judges, i think it's giving the judges too much credit. the structural beauty of the legal strategy that houston and
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marshall put into place was its false modesty. its famed patience. they chipped away at the doctrine of separate but equal by asking only that the doctrine of separate but equal be enforced. because they knew it couldn't. they knew that separate could never be equal. and history, time and justice has proven them right. there's is an airport now in baltimore named after thurgood marshall. there are a number of schools named after charles hamilton houston. but the true monuments of their labor are the lives that you and i are able to lead each day. each day that we are able to gather as we are here this evening, each day that we can come under one roof, regardless of our race, regardless of our
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gender, regardless of our religion. each one of those days is both a testament and a celebration of the outstanding work and the battles fought and won by these two great americans. thank you. [applause] >> i said who's going to take up 40 acres and a mule. >> take up? >> they took up the co-alifts who dese gre gait. there's always discussion among folk that, oh, don't bring that up. you'll never get that. then you think, well, okay. but there is efforts to bring
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forth legal action. i was following one case where about five years ago a local lawyer had taken the dna of blacks of long lineage in the country and filed the case on that merit. how do you see that discussion legally? i understand -- someone says to me conners, representative conners continues to put forth that. >> conyers. >> something with the congress. >> you're referring to like reparations? >> yeah. >> as i see that going forward, the word reparations has been turned into something of a toxic word. but i see progress being made on that front in individual channels. an example i'll give you is the recent settlement of african-american farmers that
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the department of agricultural just signed, secretary of the department of agricultural under the president obama's administration, $1.6 billion. president bush was not moving forward on that. the new administration did move forward on that. so no one would call that reparations. think wouldn't put that word attached to it. but what it is is a whole lot of taxpayer dollars to correct a wrong that was inflicted upon thousands of african-american farmers over the period of years. so as i see that developing, i see it being done in not limited but in very discrete ways individually. so agricultural an this way, and go after education in another way. that's how i see that progressing. and i don't think anyone will put the word reparations on it because it makes it much more difficult to move through the legislation.
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but, yes, congressman con ers has been doing a great deal of work on that out of michigan. >> i use the old position 40 acres and a mule. reparations is too sophisticated for me. the other point that is surfacing is what constitutes an african-american? i mean, yesterday's "usa today" front page, and has come up repeatedly even when the president was running for office, that he dodged questions about mixed marriage, mixed race and all that. so what constitutes an african-american now if one was to sue the -- [ inaudible ]
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>> you raise a good point as far as what constitutes an african-american. mrs. teresa heinz kerry raised a great deal of-9 furor when she declared herself an african-american. she is african and lives in america. i see it as referring to black americans, the race. it's an extension of afro-american which interestingly is a term thurgood marshall refused to use until the last three or four years of his life, even through the '80s. he was still referring -- still called african-americans negros and insisted on calling -- if you're talking to him, referring to african-americans as negros. i think involving a question. but i think african-americans is, i like the term.
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>> i have got a question. more about the relationship between houston and marshall which was pretty interesting. started as teacher and student. houston was the dean of howard law school and was in the process of turning the school from academic into a variable west.for civil rights advocacy. houston was a very buttoned down individual a three piece suit kind of guy. thurgood marshall walked with a strut that was so mean that his fellow students called him turkey. called him iron shoes. so there were two very different
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men. when they met they immediately took to each other. extremely gifted lawyer and a gifted student. marshall's class started with 36 students and only six of those graduated. houston was working very hard at howard law school at the time. marshall, by virtue of his ranking first in his class after two years, was able to get a job working in the library. for the first time he worked alongside houston. that's really when their relationship took off. marshall later, justice marshall, in his 80s, would repeatedly say everything i learned about the law i learned from charlie houston. it was something that bothered justice marshall deeply that more people did not know about charles hamilton houston and his contributions. and he would speefk him unprompted at every given opportunity.
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so the people would know what this man did and what he sacrificed. and they also became very good, very good friends. certainly was a case of opposites attract. ended up traveling together throughout the south on road trips. working cases together, obviously working cases very successfully. but the relationship was a teacher/student. became mentor/mentee and at the end became very, very close friends. marshall was one of mr. houston's palbearers but he could not speak and refused to speak to the media about mr. houston for some time after houston's death because it was so emotional for him. it was such an emotional event, losing houston at such a young age. houston was only 54 when he passed away. it was very difficult for marshall.
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>> i heard this statement which really puzzled me. but then it was so clear. when they say like all the work that marshall did and all the laws that he supposedly had passed and help put together. and then somebody say, you know what, whatever he did, had not the army backed up whatever he pushed, it wouldn't mean nothing. because the people rebelled against it. when they told me how much military plays a part in making sure that these laws are passed. because it's not the people that didn't want to do it. wouldn't have dint. had not the military was there. so tell me how ironic that is for someone to have such a law
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degree and put things together, how they march and organize and construct only to find out that had it not been the military behind, it wouldn't have went no place. >> you bring up an excellent point. because the supreme court issued these rulings and laid out this law, did not mean that people woke up one day and decided to follow it. we all know that did not happen. it did take the army, took the 82nd airborne, president eisenhower sen in to little rock, arkansas, years after brown versus board of education. but, it is not marshall's job. it is not the supreme court's job to enforce the law. the branchs of government you have the legislative, judiciary and executive branch. and the executive branch, the president executes the laws. puts them into force and makes
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sure that people follow them. and that's why eisenhower was forced to act. he did not want to act. he was not happy about the brown decision at all. and, in fact, the white house press secretary refused to comment on the brown versus board of education decision. the only other major decision who refused to comment was the goefrn of mississippi. the president was not happy about it. but as the years went on, he realized that there was a great deal of resistance, rebellion in some places. he had to execute the laws. so he did send in the military. no one was happy that that had to happen. but, yes, he had to use the military on united states soil to enforce the law. >> so what does that mean when people organize, they think they're doing something right, you think the courts who are supposed to be the final say so,
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or the government an whatever, but when the government itself is fighting you, where does that leave the particular individuals that say oh we won but then again we didn't win because had we not had -- you know, almost like you're so insignificant that inspite of the logic, the honest, the truth, the fairness and moralness of pushing a certain agenda that will bring about some equality to a group of people and yet to see it's not real because what would happen now, even now if all of a sudden if the military or the army or whatnot is really holding this together from a group of people that's maybe more in the position to take back whatever rights that other people may have. and for them to -- so to me
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that's like i'm walking on thin ice. knowing just that, all these so-called laws that have been put down, that only reason why they here is because the military will back it up. but what would happen -- soy eem not really -- >> that's all we have though. the military would back it up. but we have the -- there are laws. people follow the laws because there are consequences if you break them. i see i guess the flip side of what you're saying. i see it as something of a comfort. it's a weary comfort. i understand your uneasiness about it. but attend of the day the law will be enforced. and that's what happened with little rock. and that's what happens when they bring the police -- >> this is what i'm saying. even though it may be a force. every time someone sees a loophole to get someone, to shoot him 50 times or to deny
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somebody a certain type of right, you know, then you know, so i'm saying the moralness didn't carry over. didn't phase into humanity to a degree. it's more or less like -- if somebody would take a pot shot at you. >> there are 300 million people in this country. some of them are not on the straight and narrow. and some of them don't care what the law is. and some of those people who don't care what the law is, in the past, some have bhave been governors. that's part of the price that we pay of living in a free society. >> i had sort of a wonky question. plessy versus ferguson was
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passed after the 14th and 15th amendments that ensured personal civil rights. how much of the legal strategy for houston an hamilton was built around the unique nature of plessy and this sort of regressive nature of that decision that was taking away rights that nominally existed? >> plessy was the big mountain that they had to climb. the means by which they were going to get there, the means by which they got there was the 14th amendment which guaranteed, said no state shall violate the rights of an individual. that's an awful paraphrasing of the 14th amendment. the 14th amendment was the means. i think it was almost like, the climbers boots that they had to climb over plessy. plessy was the big mountain they had to get over. the question was, when could they go right at it? they went around it, chipped away at it. they exposed it for the fallacy that it was. and once it was exposed as a fallacy by the same court, they
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realized and marshall wrote in a letter to houston saying i think we should challenge plessy now and set forth the reasons why. part of it is because we're not going to get a court. the other reason was because they had president truman in office. they said president truman will enforce what the supreme court says. as if to be proven right a few years later we had eisenhower. it took a great deal of doing for his administration to enforce the law 37. so the 14th amendment was the means by which they had to jump over or tear down plessy versus ferguson. and in the districk of columbia, they had to do it through the fifth amendment because of some rules of washington, d.c., including our taxation without representation. >> hello. thank you for coming to harlem. we appreciate it. what i would like to ask you,
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today, what do you think is the state of our judiciary today? the naacp and other civil rights organizations are still fighting hard for all minorities on all fronts. so, where do you think we stand today? >> part of my being a lawyer, but that's how i determined if i had a senator, i live in washington, d.c. so i don't. but if i had a senator is how i would determine how i vote. how i determine my presidential vote is based on judges. article 3 federal judges are appointed for life. and i think the state of the judiciary right now is it's hard to move -- it's hard to change it from right to left, or even from left to right because everything stops in the senate. so we're -- it's a political issue of confirmation. i think that certain -- there has been a great deal of progress made in judiciary in so
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much as by the time thurgood marshall was nominated by johnson. by the time he was nominated by john f kennedy to be a federal appellate judge in new york for the second circuit court of appeals. by then in the short period of time, senator could not just go on the floor and say, we can't have a negro be the appellate judge for the second circuit. so they picked other means by which they wanted to attack him. some are legitimate disagreements with the way that he likely would interpret the law. others are just because they didn't like him because he was a civil rights lawyer and they didn't like the civil rights. so, judiciary is con stanley evolving but it moves very, very slowly. very slowly. but once someone is there, that man or woman is on the bench in federal court, they're on the bench for life. so it's very important. it's a priority for any president, democrat or
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republican. it's a priority for them. i think the last president, president bush, i think did an outstanding job of shaping the federal judiciary to what he wanted it to be and what his constituents wanted that court to represent. i think he did an outstanding job of that. he got very few road blocks along the way. and i think it's a model this president could emulate. >> hopefully. >> hopefully. that's right. >> i'd like to thank hue-man bookstore again for having me and thank you all for leaving work early to come out to talk with me aboutthis. thank you. [applause]
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tell us w your biggest selling author is. >> currently on sale right now, glenn beck. still a new yor tes best seller list. has been there for several weeks. ar arguing with idiots went on sale last september. we shipped over 1 million copies. it's still selling very, very well today. glenn is building a nice empire for himself at the company. we have four books now that we published with him. we have three more coming in 2010. we're very, very excited about just how glenn has really become a rock star on fox tv and the way his radio show has just grown and grown. he's a terrific writer, great promoter. he just reaches a wide audience. people have really come to love
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his books and support him tremendously. and, you know, we also publish mark levin. terrific writer. we published two books with him now. we have a book coming later this summer that his dad wrote and mark will be supporting it. he wrote an introduction to the book. it's on lincoln's gettysburg address. it will be coming this summer as well. of course, the big book we're excited about going on sale march 9th is karl rove's book. this is karl's memoir. and as you all know, karl is a brilliant strategist, brilliant campaign manager. he worked in bush's office as you know as chief of staff. i think he has -- he just carries a tremendous amount of respect. we're shipping half a million copies that will go on sale officially march 9th. >> any other radio and television personalities? >> absolutely. absolutely. jerry doyle, who we published
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earlier this year. big radio stañ. we're happy to have him on our list. trying to think off the top of my head. steve moore arthur laffer, they've been all over the media the last couple weeks with "return to prosperity." jerry doyle is our big radio guy, that we just launched. it's a great read. it's called "have you seen my country lately?" >> threshold is part of simon and schuster? >> correct. we have been in business with threshold just over three years now. it's been very successful for us. we've had several number one new york times best selling authors. one jerome corzi was the first one on the list. and more reenly "america for sale" which went on sale this past october. all new york times bestsellers. >> you also have authors that
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are part of threshold management, correct? >> correct. we have -- when we say threshold management, really authors that are not media personalities or radio personalities but just good quality books, whether it's on licy the economy, for example george malone was the former wall street journal columnist. he recently wrote a book on the great money binge. so we do a wide range of books not just radio and tv personalities but a wide range of authors, politicians, what have you. >> can you tell us who heads up threshold at the moment? >> louis burke is our publisher for the in prin. my responsibilities under louise are to help market and promote. and then, of course, mary mad lin acts as our editor at large. she's running a lot of great projects f us, including vice president cheney's book, which we will be publishing next year.
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>> thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. up next, after words. this week former massachuset ces -- massachusetts governor mitt romney. in it re-examines what are the greatest challenges to the nation today and provides his own blue prin for american progress in years to come 37 the expected 2012 candidate talks with juan williams of national public radio. >> i'm juan williams. today on after words, mitt romney. governor, thank for joining us. mitt romney's new book is called "no apology:case for american greatness."
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mitt romney, everybody assumes this book is the kickoff to your 2012 presidential campaign. are they right? >> welsh it's too early to tell. i haven't made a decision in that regard. frankly, the book has come from my experience over the years working at the private sector, working in other countries, seeing some of those countries are making a lot of progress. we always assume we're way ahead of the rest of the world an other nations are catching up. my concern is if we don't recognize the source of our greatness and take action to shore up the fundamentals of americans, america's vitality, we could find ourselves being eclipsed by other nations. this is a book saying, let's wake up, let's rise to the occasion, let's rebuild our strength and provide for our kids and their kids a bright future. >> part of this seems to be, especially the early part of the books a critique of president obama. in specific, it's caught the attention of peep around washington who said his out
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reach, in some muslim nations has been, here i quote, kindling, kindling for people who hate america and who wish america the worst. is that right? >> i think he made an enormous error that hurt his credibility and hurt our national interests by carrying out, if you will, in the first months of his presidency, a form of apology, a series of statements saying america has been divisive, we've been dismissive, that america is arrogant, that we don't listen to the concerns of others, that america has dictated to other nations. i don't think that's historically accurate. i think america has freed other nations from dictators. we have not been dictating to other nations. but that being said, i think it's created the impression that our conviction and our principles is waivering and it is not. i think that was a mistake on the president's part. i think instead that a foreign policy consistent with the values and prescriptions that were described by harirry truma
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is america's way forward. >> you say the u.s., it's good for the u.s. to be strong. >> yeah. >> but then in talking about some of the things that president obama has done, and especially in the foreign policy area, you seem to suggest that he is diminishing america, as you just said, the democratic national committee, by the way, issued a staple that said americans in the last election rejected radical foreign policy authored by dick cheney and whole heartedly adapted by mitt romney, and this policy would alienate allies and embolden enemies. what do you think? >> i don't have a lot to say about the dnc, what kind of screen they're gonna put out. but the areas where i think the president disappointed a lot of folks, including myself was when the honduran supreme court said their anti-american pro-chavez president had violated the
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constitution and their military removed him from office, our president said put him back which i think surprised folks. i think that was an inappropriate action. when colombia seeks a special status with the united states on a trade basis. colombia standing up to hugo chavez, we deny him that special status. that, i think, is a mistake. when he goes before the united nations and speaks for the first type and chaft tiezs israel in front of the united nations but has nothing to say about the palestinian group hamas launching 7,000 rockets in israel, that, i think, is a mistake. of course, the decision to withdraw our support for missile defense from poland and the czech republic led those great friends to be very concerned about america's willingness to stand with them and at the same time, perhaps designed to reset relations with russia as the president indicated. we got nothing for it from russia. so i'm afraid the steps that he took have con feuds our


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